I heard God laugh

I heard God laugh;

And sunshine broke into a thousand pieces

To plunge into the hearts of men,

Earth pored out her singing into mountain’s crystal silences,

Trees pulled their ancient roots and danced for joy

Flowers sang, birds and bees understood

And stopped, in listening wonder:

Shuddered the old, old fears to vanish into living light

And man, set free at last from all the weariness of doubt,

Ran to gaze up into the eyes of heavenly reason,

In the sudden knowledge that in the true centre

Love breathes on life, healing and making whole.

God the begining, God the victorious end.

The Lithurgy of Life

Joy knowing the Lord

Romans 5:1-8

1 We have been made right with God because of our faith. So we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through our faith, Christ has brought us into that blessing of God’s grace that we now enjoy. And we are happy because of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory. 3 And we also have joy with our troubles because we know that these troubles produce patience. 4 And patience produces character, and character produces hope. 5 And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. God gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given See the source imageto us. 6 Christ died for us while we were still weak. We were living against God, but at the right time, Christ died for us. 7 Very few people will die to save the life of someone else. Although perhaps for a good man someone might possibly die. 8 But Christ died for us while we were still sinners. In this way God shows his great love for us.

I first heard and sang ‘Joy because of you’ about 36 – 37 years ago at The Salvation Army Divisional music camp , unfortunately I am unable to provide the words to the song but I hope you can make them out as you listen. As the song and bible passage suggests they are not just a passage and song of joy but also of testimony and praise.

God’s Guidance

Psalm 48[a]

A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah.

Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise,
    in the city of our God, his holy mountain.

Beautiful in its loftiness,
    the joy of the whole earth,
like the heights of Zaphon[b] is Mount Zion,
    the city of the Great King.
God is in her citadels;
    he has shown himself to be her fortress.

When the kings joined forces,
    when they advanced together,
they saw her and were astounded;
    they fled in terror.
Trembling seized them there,
    pain like that of a woman in labour.
You destroyed them like ships of Tarshish
    shattered by an east wind.

As we have heard,Image result for psalm 48 14
    so we have seen
in the city of the Lord Almighty,
    in the city of our God:
God makes her secure
    forever.[c]

Within your temple, O God,
    we meditate on your unfailing love.
10 Like your name, O God,
    your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;
    your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Mount Zion rejoices,
    the villages of Judah are glad
    because of your judgments.

12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
    count her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts,
    view her citadels,
that you may tell of them
    to the next generation.

1For this God is our God for ever and ever;
    he will be our guide even to the end.

 

Not Alone

Related image

Proverbs 23 New International Version 

Saying 17

22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
    and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth and do not sell it—
    wisdom, instruction and insight as well.
24 The father of a righteous child has great joy;
    a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.
25 May your father and mother rejoice;
    may she who gave you birth be joyful!

Saying 18

26 My son, give me your heart
    and let your eyes delight in my ways,
27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit,
    and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28 Like a bandit she lies in wait
    and multiplies the unfaithful among men.

Here we learn in verses 24 & 25 about the love and joy a father and mother has for their child, but in verse 26 we learn that if we give our hearts to God he will be with us at all times

Thirsting for the Living God

Psalm 42 New International Version

BOOK II

Psalms 42–72

Psalm 42[a][b]

For the director of music. A maskil[c] of the Sons of Korah.

As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?

My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
    under the protection of the Mighty One[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
    among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
    as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

1 O Lamb of God! Thou wonderful sin-bearer,
Hard after Thee my soul doth follow on;
As pants the hart for streams in desert dreary,
So pants my soul for Thee, O Thou life-giving One. 

Refrain:
At Thy feet I fall,
Yield Thee up my all,
To suffer, live, or die
For my Lord crucified. 

2 I mourn, I mourn the sin that drove Thee from me,
And blackest darkness brought into my soul;
Now I renounce the cursed sin that hindered,
And come once more to Thee, to be made fully whole. [Refrain]

3 Descend the heav’ns, Thou whom my soul adoreth!
Oh, come just now, fill my poor longing breast;
For Thee, for Thee, I watch, as for the morning!
Apart from Thee, I find neither joy, peace, nor rest. [Refrain]

4 Come, Holy Ghost, Thy mighty aid bestowing,
Destroy the works of sin, the self, the pride;
Burn, burn in me, my idols overthrowing;
Prepare my heart for Him—for my Lord crucified. [Refrain]

The Desired Dwelling Place

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Psalm 132

10 For the sake of your servant David,
    do not reject your anointed one.

11 The Lord swore an oath to David,
    a sure oath he will not revoke:
“One of your own descendants
    I will place on your throne.
12 If your sons keep my covenant
    and the statutes I teach them,
then their sons will sit
    on your throne for ever and ever.”

13 For the Lord has chosen Zion,
    he has desired it for his dwelling, saying,
14 “This is my resting place for ever and ever;
    here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
15 I will bless her with abundant provisions;
    her poor I will satisfy with food.
16 I will clothe her priests with salvation,
    and her faithful people will ever sing for joy.

17 “Here I will make a horn[b] grow for David
and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
18 I will clothe his enemies with shame,
but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.

Lord I have a cry, a burning desire.
To walk and Talk, as my heart turns to you
Endless nights. i stay awake
You satisfy me you anoint me
(Repeat)

But it ain’t all that I need
As long as i live i’ll never sleep
Until i find a place for you
my promise and my creed

This is your house, where i live forever
surround me and praise me and captivate me
In holiness I come and brokenness i bow
you appointed me to carry your Glory
(repeat)

Giving God the Glory

Psalm 126 New International Version

Psalm 126

A song of ascents.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of[a] Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.[b]
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes,[c] Lord,
    like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them.

Rebuilding 

Isaiah 49 New International Version

Restoration of Israel

This is what the Lord says:

“In the time of my favour I will answer you,
    and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land
    and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’
    and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’

“They will feed beside the roads
    and find pasture on every barren hill.
10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,
    nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them.
He who has compassion on them will guide them
    and lead them beside springs of water.
11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
    and my highways will be raised up.
12 See, they will come from afar—
    some from the north, some from the west,
    some from the region of Aswan.[b]

13 Shout for joy, you heavens;
    rejoice, you earth;
    burst into song, you mountains!
For the Lord comforts his people
    and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.Image result for Restoration of Israel

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
    the Lord has forgotten me.”

15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are ever before me.
17 Your children hasten back,
    and those who laid you waste depart from you.
18 Lift up your eyes and look around;
    all your children gather and come to you.
As surely as I live,” declares the Lord,
    “you will wear them all as ornaments;
    you will put them on, like a bride.

19 “Though you were ruined and made desolate
    and your land laid waste,
now you will be too small for your people,
    and those who devoured you will be far away.
20 The children born during your bereavement
    will yet say in your hearing,
‘This place is too small for us;
    give us more space to live in.’
21 Then you will say in your heart,
    ‘Who bore me these?
I was bereaved and barren;
    I was exiled and rejected.
    Who brought these up?
I was left all alone,
    but these—where have they come from?’”

22 This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“See, I will beckon to the nations,
    I will lift up my banner to the peoples;
they will bring your sons in their arms
    and carry your daughters on their hips.
23 Kings will be your foster fathers,
    and their queens your nursing mothers.
They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground;
    they will lick the dust at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
    those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”

24 Can plunder be taken from warriors,
    or captives be rescued from the fierce[c]?

25 But this is what the Lord says:

“Yes, captives will be taken from warriors,
    and plunder retrieved from the fierce;
I will contend with those who contend with you,
    and your children I will save.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh;
    they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine.
Then all mankind will know
    that I, the Lord, am your Savior,
    your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Does a mother forget her baby?

Or a woman the child within her womb?

Yet even if these forget,

Yes, even if these forget,

I will never forget my own.

The dreams we share today

oh Lord are only a shadow of your dreams for us

Only a shadow of your dreams for us

if we but follow you.

The joy we feel today oh lord

Is only a shadow of your joys for us.

Only a shadow of your joys for us

when we meet face to face.

The Christ in Christmas

I wonder how many of us will get Christmas cards with the two different terms on them 1. Merry Christmas and 2. Happy Xmas.

According to the dictionary the meaning of Merry Christmas is: The real meaning of “Merry Christmas” is, to be full of absolute joy because God Himself, knowing none of us could *ever* get free of sin ourselves, provided the way for our salvation. It is only through God that we can obtain Holiness because none of us are able to cleanse ourselves to the point of pleasing God.

Whereas Xmas (also X-mas) is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas. It is sometimes pronounced, but Xmas, and variants such as Xtemass, originated as handwriting abbreviations for the typical pronunciation. The “X” comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Christós (Χριστός), which became Christ in English. The suffix -mas is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass.

Personally I prefer the first one of the two

A lot of kids these days are brought up to believe that Santa and toys are ” The reason for the season” We must remember as Christians that Jesus is ” The reason for the season”

The Angel and the Shepherds

Luke 2:8-20 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’Image result for while shepherds watched their flocks by night

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

  1. While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
    All seated on the ground,
    The angel of the Lord came down,
    And glory shone around.
  2. “Fear not!” said he, for mighty dread
    Had seized their troubled mind;
    “Glad tidings of great joy I bring
    To you and all mankind.
  3. “To you, in David’s town, this day
    Is born of David’s line
    A Savior, who is Christ the Lord,
    And this shall be the sign:
  4. “The heav’nly Babe you there shall find
    To human view displayed,
    All meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
    And in a manger laid.”
  5. Thus spake the seraph and forthwith
    Appeared a shining throng
    Of angels praising God on high,
    Who thus addressed their song:
  6. “All glory be to God on high,
    And to the Earth be peace;
    Good will henceforth from heav’n to men
    Begin and never cease!”

This is not the original carol but never the less I hope you like it